Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Arondir From Amazon's Rings Of Power Looks So Familiar

Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" features an ensemble cast of characters, many of which were created specifically for the streaming series. While that alone seems to confirm as to whether or not the newest iteration of J. R. R. Tolkien's story will prove a faithful adaption, it's best to give media a chance to fly before we cast stones. With that in mind, here are the central characters as we understand them. First, there's Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo), both of whom are staple figures in Tolkien's middle earth. In this series, they're younger than fans will commonly remember them — as they're both quasi-immortal elves, the term "young" is hilariously relative. 

Then there's Arondir and Bronwyn, and this is where we dip into non-canonical territory. Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) is a human woman from the village Tirharad in the Second Age, and Arondir (we're saving this actor's name for a fun little reveal, be patient) is a Silvan, a warrior elf. Little is known of them so far other than that they're in love and hey, maybe a mortal and a quasi-immortal (we've used the term twice, now, so here's a quick explanation — elves can be killed through violence but are otherwise impervious to the lethality of time) shouldn't be getting it on.

All of the aforementioned actors are comparatively unknown, and we'll probably give each a deep dive in their turn, but for now, let's focus on Arondir, the star-crossed lover with smoldering eyes. Behind the bow and arrow is Ismael Cruz Córdova, and here's why he might be familiar to viewers.

Ismael Cruz Córdova was a religious YouTuber for The Good Wife

In 2009, CBS released "The Good Wife," an American political drama series starring Juliana Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a woman who returns to the workforce to provide for her children after her husband loses his office in the wake of a political and sexual misconduct. The production ran for 156 episodes across seven seasons and concluded in 2016, where it ended just as somberly as it started. "The Good Wife" features several prominent performers, such as Christina Baranski, Michael J. Fox, Alan Cumming, Chris North, and for five episodes across the second and third seasons, Ismael Cruz Córdova. 

Córdova portrays Jimmy Patrick, a religious, copyright-safe YouTuber. He shows up to stir an emotional response within Grace Florrick (Makenzie Vega), Alicia's teenage daughter. He's framed a dangerous, anarchist hippie who poisons young minds and beyond that, "The Good Wife" doesn't really explore the nuance behind a cult leader using legitimate talking points to lead others astray. It goes so far as to prove that Alicia and her daughter don't see eye to eye, and that's pretty much it. What it does reveal, however, is that Córdova has always been cast for his ability to smize with charisma. And guess what? That trend continues in the next entry. 

Ismael Cruz Córdova was a resident of Sesame Street

In 1969, PBS released "Sesame Street," an ongoing children's edutainment series featuring an ensemble cast of adorable, furry Muppets. Though not an exhaustive list, there's Elmo and Cookie Monster and Big Bird and Zoe and The Count and Grover and Oscar the Grouch and Snuffaluffagus and they'll outlast every single one of us. While "Sesame Street" is well known for guest starring real celebrities that have ranged from Robert Downey Jr. to Hillary Clinton, the series also features actors who portray non-puppet residents of Sesame Street. In this way, Ismael Cruz Córdova joined the ever-growing cast for seven episodes. 

Córdova portrays Mando, who uses his bubbly personality and penchant for bursting out into choreographed musical numbers to educate children about different aspects of existing within Hispanic culture. One of his songs, entitled "Mando," shows him teaching the other residents of Sesame Street about Spanish words that rhymed with his name. Another song of Mando's, entitled "I Love My Hair," shows Mando praising his hair texture so that Hispanic children growing up in a Eurocentric America can feel represented. This is part of an ongoing trend for "Sesame Street" in which the series ensures that everyone feels loved. Once again, Córdova's charisma is integral to his role — being able to sing doesn't hurt, either. 

Anyway, enjoy how endearing Córdova can be because the next entry is infinitely less pleasant. Buckle up, dear reader.

Ismael Cruz Córdova was an incestuous boxer in Ray Donovan

In 2013, Showtime released "Ray Donovan," an American crime drama series starring Liev Schreiber as the titular Ray Donovan, a professional "fixer," a term for someone who handles loose ends for the criminal underground. In the name of his client, Donovan offers bribes, doles out threats, and cleans up after ... violent disagreements. In short, he does whatever is required of him, and he does it very well. The production ran for 82 episodes across seven seasons and concluded in 2020. After nearly a two-year hiatus, "Ray Donovan" received a made-for-TV movie to wrap up the story, creatively entitled "Ray Donovan: The Movie." Alongside Schreiber, talents such as Jon Voight, Kerris Dorrey, and Alyssa Diaz are featured. 

For ten episodes of the fourth season, Ismael Cruz Córdova portrays Hector Campos, a superstar in the world of boxing — and a married man, with a wife and child — who made the unfortunate call of sleeping with his half sister, Marisol Campos (Lisa Bonet). Don't worry, it gets worse — desperate to be free of her, Campos ends up murdering his half-sister, and it becomes Donovan's job to clean up the mess. Ultimately, Campos hides his shame behind a mask of religion and gets away with almost no consequences, save his wife and child leaving him. Good for them. 

While we could make a solid comparison between Córdova's time as Hector Campos and his previous time as Jimmy Patrick, we'll forgo the charisma comments for now. This one's just ... icky. 

Ismael Cruz Córdova was an alien mercenary in The Mandalorian

In 2019, Disney released "The Mandalorian," an ongoing American space western series starring Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, aka The Mandalorian, a bounty hunter in the "Star Wars" universe with a fondness for little green babies. Look, there's no way to reference Grogu that doesn't sound questionable and strange so, please, for all of our sakes, just go with it. Set between the events of the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy, "The Mandalorian" strives to tell a tale unlabored by the demands of continuity — that's not to say it's non-canonical, nor that it wholly avoids excessive CGI cameos, but rather that it attempts to exist within the lore of "Star Wars" without being forced to tell a tired tale. The inaugural Disney + series also features the talents of Giancarlo Esposito, Ming-Na Wen, and Bill Burr. 

For a single episode in the first season, Ismael Cruz Córdova portrays Qin, an imprisoned Twi'lek mercenary. For those not up to speed on their lore, the Twi are a colorful alien race with twin tentacles protruding from their craniums, like two fleshy braids. Not much is known about Qin other than the fact that he's, well, not very bright. For Córdova's part, perhaps it was a relief to be the dumb one for a brief moment.